Denver’s Worst Home Renovation Nightmares Star in New HGTV Show


Denver’s Worst Home Renovation Nightmares Star in New HGTV Show

Rico León: Advocate for Desperate Homeowners in Denver

“Rico to the Rescue” features emergency restoration specialist Rico León, who solves major home renovation problems. Rico León, a self-described “advocate for desperate families,” has helped locals navigate construction nightmares, often stepping in as a mediator with general contractors or taking on the role himself. Now, viewers can watch León tackle these issues on HGTV’s “Rico to the Rescue,” airing Saturdays at 9 p.m. MST.

From Pittsburgh to Denver: Rico León’s Journey

Originally from Pittsburgh, León started as a salesman for Roto-Rooter, handling emergency restoration for fire, flood, mold, and sewage damage. His move to Denver was serendipitous, following a car breakdown in the city. León fell in love with Denver’s live music and cultural scene, prompting him to start his own emergency restoration business in 2019. The unfortunate situations he encounters form the basis for the HGTV series.

Unique Appeal of “Rico to the Rescue”

What sets “Rico to the Rescue” apart from other HGTV renovation shows is the distress faced by homeowners. León steps in to help people dealing with disasters, such as fire damage or disputes with contractors. He hopes viewers can learn valuable lessons from his experiences. “I learned the lessons I teach on my show because I had general contractors steal hundreds of thousands of dollars from me first,” he said.

Expert Advice for Home Renovations

León emphasizes the importance of financial clarity in construction projects. Both homeowners and contractors must agree on the value of the work to avoid conflicts. He advises homeowners to understand that costs can change, especially in historic homes where unexpected issues like asbestos remediation may arise. “Unfortunately, a lot of the things that are very costly are not the sexy kitchens and the sexy flooring. It’s bad electrical, bad mechanical, bad framing,” León said.

Communication is Key

León stresses the importance of honest communication between homeowners and contractors. He often sees contractors underbidding to secure jobs, leading to unmanageable expectations. Post-COVID, with increased material costs and supply chain delays, accurate estimates and timelines are crucial. “Homeowners want to be lied to,” he said. “Those are lies.”

Navigating Permits and Inspections

Permitting processes have significantly slowed since the COVID-19 pandemic, León noted. In the first episode of “Rico to the Rescue,” a family’s project is nearly derailed by the City of Denver due to missing inspection records. While the homeowners provided necessary documentation to keep the project on track, León highlights the current challenges with permitting processes.

Tips for Finding the Right Contractor

To avoid ending up on a show like “Rico to the Rescue,” León offers practical advice for sourcing contractors:

  1. Read Reviews and Ask for References: Lack of reviews or references is a red flag.

  2. Verify Proof of Work: Ensure contractors provide evidence of their past projects.

  3. Set Clear Milestones: Establish a project timeline with accountability checkpoints.

  4. Consider Your Living Situation: Determine if you need to vacate your home and budget for temporary housing if necessary.

Watch “Rico to the Rescue”

Catch “Rico to the Rescue” on Saturday nights at 9 p.m. MST on HGTV to see León in action, helping homeowners overcome their renovation challenges and learn valuable tips for their own projects.